Kenya music is mainly based on drumming, humming, singing and dance. The National Museums of Kenya exhibits a wide variety of these musical instruments; drums, lyres, flutes and guitars.
Recently there is an increase in FM radio stations all over Kenya playing a mixture of rap, hip-hop, reggae and afro-jazz. Kenyan music and it's artists are making history for themselves.
The formation of a loose alliance of Kenyan Hip Hop artists as Ogopa DJs created a nonstop hit factory that sent tune after tune to the top of the Kenyan charts.
By 2002, formerly idolized Western artists were wiped out of radio airplay by Kenyans such as Nameless - who had a huge hit with Ninanoki and went on to record the best-selling album "On Fire".
His collaboration with a young artist E-Sir was a track called Boomba Train, which was a huge hit on dance-floors and clubs across the country. E-Sirs career was tragically cut short by a road accident in 2003.
Redsan, a singer as well known for his looks as his music has kept Kenya's female population enthralled with hits such as Julie and Raha - a track whose hip hop overtones are underscored with coastal taarab sounds.
As this fascinating trend and blend for fusion of world and western styles grows, many Kenyan artists are exploring this new style of musical possibility. One of the most popular up and coming artists is Mercy Myra who combines traditional and modern, African and Western styles.
Reggae has also become popular, with blends of Afro-reggae and rap. One of the better-known Kenyan Reggae artists is Nazizi the female vocalist from rap group Necessary Noize also known for her solo reggae work.
Traditional music is still very important and a vital part of the music scene. The Kayamba Africa group and Suzanne Owiyo were both nominated for Kora awards in 2002.
The arrival of better and more easily accessible instrumentation and recording facilities is continuing to strengthen and diversify the Kenyan music scene.
Kenya music continues to grow, develop and evolve, and as the opportunities for young talented Kenyans increases, the future and expectations can and will be fantastic.
For such a small country, the performance and recording market has grown and increased immensely and it has created a wonderful diversity of musical styles, concerts and art.
Jens Finke's Traditional Music & Cultures of Kenya
The best and most researched site for ‘traditional music and cultures of Kenya’; a multimedia encyclopedia dedicated to Kenya's tribes and people.
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